Check Point Software Technologies has released a public beta of ZoneAlarm ForceField, a browser virtualization security tool that promises anti-phishing and spyware-blocking capabilities.
The software is available as a free download during the beta testing period. Check Point plans to slap a $29.95 price tag on the product once the final version ships in early 2008.
ZoneAlarm ForceField essentially puts the browser in a sandbox (Internet Explorer 6/7 and Firefox 2.0 are supported on Windows XP and Vista), allowing users to surf and shop online without fear of falling victim to drive-by exploits.
ForceField also erases all personal information after a Web browsing session to offer a privacy protection feature.
Check Point's marketing-speak, from a statement released at DemoFall:
Employing a state-of-the-art precision virtualization engine plus additional active security layers, ZoneAlarm ForceField provides distinctive and powerful protection against a breadth of Web-based attacks including browser exploits, drive-by downloads, and phishing attacks, plus keyloggers and spyware already on the PC. ForceField leverages the power of Check Point's Smart Defense Advisor, a hosted service that enables the company to offer users real-time protection against zero-hour threats.
Light, fast and easy-to-use, ZoneAlarm ForceField does not interfere with users' Web routines. At general availability launch expected in Q1 2008, ForceField will offer an instant version that deploys instantly to any PC without requiring manual installation to provide on-the-go, anytime use on any PC. The instant version will be included with the downloadable version of the product.
If it works as advertised, ZoneAlarm ForceField could expand on the concept introduced in Windows Vista's Internet Explorer with Protected Mode, the security feature that stops the browser from modifying user or system files and settings without user consent.
Firefox does not offer a Protected Mode feature.
Prior to its acquisition by Google, Green Border Technologies sold a browser virtualization software service. It is likely Google will release anti-malware technology based on the Green Border technology.